The all-round sporting dream
Barvas Estate is something of a rarity as a sporting estate, offering exciting wild sport for nearly ten months of the year. In spring there is wonderful salmon and trout fishing; in the autumn the walked-up grouse, snipe and wildfowl provide exciting sport and there is the opportunity to venture to the hills for red deer stalking and woodcock shooting in the late autumn and winter months.
Barvas Estate comprises a comfortable eight bedroom traditional sporting lodge and two further cottages together with the fishing rights over three complete river systems namely the Barvas River including Loch Barvas, the River Arnol and Loch Urrahag. In addition there is a 25 year lease in place for the shooting and stalking rights over approximately 34,200 acres, which were formerly part of the Barvas Estate.
Barvas is a place to relish personal solitude but also the joy of creating childhood memories of family picnics, swimming or sailing on one of the many clear lochs or catching fish and barbecuing on one of the stunning beaches.
Barvas Lodge is situated in a peaceful spot close to the shores of Loch Barvas with views north west towards the Atlantic coast and to the south and east over surrounding moorland and dramatic hills. The Barvas River flows just 150 metres from the end of the garden; ideal for those keen to cast a quick line when time is sparse. The Lodge is approached via a short gravelled drive through a gated entrance which leads to a large parking area in front of the house. Originally an inn, thought to date from the 18th or early part of the 19th century, the lodge is of rendered and painted stone construction under a pitched slate roof with accommodation over one and a half storeys. It is Category C listed on account of its historical interest.
Internally the lodge offers comfortable accommodation for up to 13 guests along with the practicalities needed to accommodate sporting parties and family holidays. It retains much of its original character and features such as tongue and groove panelled walls, timber sash and case windows and working open fires in most rooms. The principal rooms can be broadly described as follows:
Front door / entrance porch
Hallway and staircase 3.94m x 2.91m
Sitting room 4.18m x 3.88m
Dining room 4.84m x 3.29
Gun room with wood burning stove, drying pulleys and large
Belfast sink unit 4.69m x 3.73m
Kitchen with floor and wall units. Oil fired Rayburn and electric
oven 4.09m x 3.60m
Pantry with floor and wall units 2.91m x 2.69m
Back porch 2.04m x 1.67m
Bathroom 2.47m x 2.36m
Bathroom 2.48m x 1.58m
Shower room 2.52m x 2.3m
Bedroom (7) 3.5m x 3.1m
Bedroom (8) 4.74m x 2.86m
First floor (main staircase off hallway)
Bedroom (1) 4.11m x 4.03m
Bedroom (2) 3.66m x 3.31m
Bedroom (3) 3.85m x 1.70m (single)
Bedroom (4) 3.72m x 3.42m
WC – Off the staircase
First floor (above kitchen and accessed by a small separate
Bedroom (5) 3.56m x 2.70m
Bedroom (6) – 3.0m x 2.81m
To the rear of the Lodge is a stone built bothy with an adjoining garage (5.7m x 5.44m) and stores. The bothy comprises two rooms (3.11m x 2.66m and 5.37m x 2.63m) and offers basic overflow accommodation. There is also a small traditional game larder adjacent to the back of the house.
Barvas Cottage is situated a short distance to the side of the Lodge and is of timber frame and block construction under a tiled roof. The single storey accommodation comprises an entrance porch, kitchen, sitting room, bathroom and three bedrooms. It is occupied by the house keeper.
Keeper’s Cottage is located about 0.3 miles west of the Lodge along the public road and is of timber frame and block construction under a tiled roof. It is occupied by the game keeper and his wife. The single storey accommodation comprises entrance porch, kitchen, sitting room, bathroom and three bedrooms. It sits within an enclosed garden with a good range of kennels and a garage
The sale of Barvas offers the rare opportunity to own the salmon and trout fishing rights over three entire river systems, stretching from source to mouth, namely the the Barvas River, the Arnol River and Loch Urrahag. Each system includes numerous small tributaries and lochans before flowing into the main body of the river or larger lochs. The fishing season opens on 11th February and closes on 31st October with the main run of fish starting from late May onwards when the conditions are right, with fishing by fly only throughout the season.
The Barvas River has long been regarded as the most prolific of the three river systems with August and September offering the best sport. In the earlier months of the season fishing is generallyconfined to the loch which is most effectively fished from a boat. The river rises in Loch Scaravat and falls for about eight miles into Loch Barvas before flowing into the short sea pool at its mouth. The Loch extends to about 245 acres and is relatively shallow with some deeper pools. The 10 year average is about 170 fish and the general policy has been to release larger cock fish and all hen fish.
The Arnol River rises to the north of Barvas Hills and falls into the sea at Arnol after a run of about eight miles. Historically it was regarded to be one of the most fruitful rivers on the Isle of Lewis but has only been lightly fished in more recent times with the occasional salmon caught.
The Loch Urrahag system is mainly made up of a number of lochs connected by burns and smaller tributaries. Whilst the salmon and trout fishing rights are owned over the these waters in practice it is only suitable for brown trout fishing as a gravel bank at the mouth of Loch Eirearaigh prevents any migratory fishing entering.
Rods are currently let on a daily basis with many of the summer weeks taken by the current owners of the estate.
Exceptional brown trout fishing can be enjoyed on many of the smaller hill amongst the wild and dramatic scenery.
In addition to its fishings, the estate enjoys varied and challenging sport over approximately 34,200 acres of land at Barvas. The estate sold the croft land on the estate to the crofting community in 2016, retaining a sporting lease over the land which runs until 13th April 2041. The current rent is £3,000 per annum. Further details are available from the selling agents.
Walked-up Grouse Unlike many moors on mainland UK, Barvas has recorded consistent bags for a considerable number of years on account of the mild weather and the absence of many predators on the island. Typically 15 20 walked-up days over pointers are shot each season and bags usually vary between 5 to 10 brace.
Woodcock and Snipe Shooting
Barvas has long had a reputation for offering some of the most prolific and exciting snipe shooting in the UK with historical bags of up to 100 birds in a day but in more recent times bags have been smaller. Most seasons between 5 to 7 days have been shot throughout October and November and are often combined with a trip onto the moor in pursuit of a couple of brace of grouse. Migrating woodcock arrive from Scandinavia from late autumn through the winter months, and offer testing sport amongst sheltered cover along the foot of the hills. There is also the opportunity for wildfowling as wild duck and geese are also seasonal visitors, which along with the resident population of greylags can provide good early morning or evening sport when flying in to roost.
The hill ground is an excellent habitat for red deer, and with the unspoiled varying terrain and breathtaking views it provides stimulating stalking country. While no deer have been culled in recent years it is thought there is potential for 4 to 5 stags and 10 to 11 hinds to be shot annually.
Acreage: 12 Acres
From Stornoway take the A857 northwards for 11 miles. Continue past the community centre on the left hand side and after a short distance the Lodge can be seen at the junction.
By Air: Flybe (www.flybe.com) run daily services to Stornoway from Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow.
By Ferry: There are regular sailings from Ullapool to Stornoway or from Uig (Isle of Skye) to Harris and drive north. Both services are provided by Caledonian Macbrayne (www.calmac.co.uk)
Car hire: Stornoway Car Hire (www.stornowaycarhire.co.uk)